With African Development Bank (AfDB) support, Burkina Faso has received an $11.5 million grant from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Forest Investment Program (FIP) to undertake the Gazetted Forests Participatory Management Project for REDD+ to create critically needed transformation of 12 of its gazetted forests.
November 1, 2013 Washington, D.C. — The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) concluded their week-long semi-annual Trust Funds Committees meetings today, endorsing over $385 million to support forest investments in Peru ($50m), energy access expansion in Liberia ($50m), and targeted private sector initiatives in clean technology, renewable energy financing, forest investments, and climate adaptation ($285.7m).
Reaching out to the private sector
To extend its reach to the private sector, the CIF governing bodies endorsed for the first time specific allocations for private sector initiatives through all four funding windows of the CIF.
Under the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), $150 million was approved for two Dedicated Private Sector Programs (DPSP): the Utility Scale Renewable Energy Program ($115m) to catalyze a global funding effort to scale up renewable energy, and the Renewable Mini-grids and Distributed Power Generation Program ($35m) to leverage private investment for rural and under-served communities.
Under the competitive private sector set-asides of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), Forest Investment Program (FIP), and Scaling Up Renewable Energy for Low Income Countries (SREP), 15 project concepts, totaling over $135 million, were endorsed for further preparation by the multilateral development banks and full CIF funding approval in 2014. These include five forest-related initiatives in FIP pilot countries Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mexico; four renewable energy projects in SREP pilot countries Honduras, Kenya, Mali, and Nepal; and six projects for climate resilience in PPCR pilot countries Haiti, Jamaica, Mozambique, Saint Lucia, and Tajikistan.
"These new private sector mechanisms represent a significant step by the CIF to support innovative private sector financing to address climate change challenges. They will be closely monitored in the months ahead to ensure rapid implementation of funds and that lessons emerging from these efforts are captured and widely disseminated," said Patricia Bliss-Guest, CIF Program Manager.
Peru and Liberia investment plans advance
Closing out the investment planning phase of the FIP was endorsement of the final pilot country plan from Peru for $50 million.
“The process of formulating our FIP investment plan has allowed us to have a national debate, including the government, civil society, and the private sector, to identify a strategy on how to position forests as an important asset in our development and to implement enabling conditions to ensure economic growth, social inclusion, and sustainable environmental development,” stated Gabriel Quijandria Acosta, Peru's Vice Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources in the Ministry of the Environment.
Peru’s FIP investment plan is particularly unique for its extensive consultative process involving government and regional officials, experts from the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, civil society, and indigenous people and local community representatives in more than 20 meetings held in priority regions and in the capital. Stakeholder engagement is further exemplified in Peru’s FIP Steering Committee, which comprises the Ministries of Environment, Economy, Agriculture, and Culture; regional Amazonian governments; and national, regional, and local leaders of two Amazonian indigenous peoples groups: the Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP) and Confederación de Nacionalidades Amazónicas del Perú (CONAP).
In a show of solidarity for Peru's investment plan, Daisy Sapata of AIDESEP joined Vice Minister Quijandria Acosta during his presentation to the FIP Sub-Committee to highlight the role of indigenous peoples in the Peruvian government's proposal, as well as their support.
Liberia’s $50 million investment plan was also endorsed under the SREP. In a country with less than 2 percent energy access, Liberia will use SREP resources to support efforts to increase energy access via off-grid electricity solutions; develop renewable energy such as small hydro, solar, biomass, and hybrids; and complement expansion of centralized generation and transmission facilities to contribute to the national goal of achieving 35 percent electrification rate by 2030.
“With the SREP, we will have a wide range of social economic impacts across the country. Expanding energy access will create jobs, empower women, and allow people to generate income and add value to their activities. This is going to be huge because it is looking at the grassroots level in rural communities that are far off the grid,” explained Augustus Goanue, Executive Director of the Rural & Renewable Energy Agency of the Ministry of Lands, Mines & Energy.
For more information, please contact:
Steven Shalita, CIF Communications
October 30, 2013 – Multi-stakeholder engagement is a hallmark of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). Nowhere has this process been put to the test as in Peru, the last pilot country of the CIF’s Forest Investment Program (FIP) to finalize its investment plan, which was endorsed today by the CIF governing bodies for $50 million. Delays have proven to be necessary to ensure all stakeholders, particularly indigenous peoples, have had a voice in this critical planning stage.
“We have had an intense consultation and participation process, including the two major Amazonian indigenous peoples groups, NGOs, and the private sector. The process has taken more time than originally expected, but, in the end, has produced a more legitimate and technically strong document,” stated Gabriel Quijandria, Peru's Vice Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources in the Ministry of the Environment.
This extensive engagement process has involved government and regional officials, experts from the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, civil society, and indigenous people and local community representatives in more than 20 meetings held in priority regions and in the capital.
Over the summer, significant forward motion was made as a set of 40 observations concerning Peru’s FIP investment plan were discussed and clarified to by Peru’s FIP Steering Committee—comprising the Ministries of Environment, Economy, Agriculture, and Culture, and the Regional Amazonian Governments—and national, regional, and local leaders of two Amazonian indigenous peoples groups: the Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana (AIDESEP) and Confederación de Nacionalidades Amazónicas del Perú (CONAP).
To keep dialogue open and ensure transparency, AIDESEP and CONAP have joined Peru’s FIP Steering Committee. It was also agreed that $14.5 million of FIP financing to Peru will be allocated to three priorities: $7 million to address titling of indigenous communities, $4 million to drive community forest management, and $3.5 million to support indigenous governance.
In a show of solidarity for Peru's investment plan, Daisy Sapata of AIDESEP joined Vice Minister Quijandria during his presentation to the FIP Sub-Committee today to highlight the role of indigenous peoples in the Peruvian government's proposal, as well as their support.
According to AIDESEP, “We celebrate the efforts of national and regional leaders and advisers of AIDESEP who, since 2010, have been impacting the world, waging a long and relentless fight based on a critical approach that includes alternatives, in a bid to transform the threat of REDD+ into an opportunity.”
“Peru’s participatory involvement of indigenous peoples is worth recognizing. It allows Peru’s investment plan to be fully supported by the indigenous peoples whose issues were heard and whose rights were respected,” commented Berenice Hernández Toro, FIP Sub-Committee member from Mexico.
“It is impressive to see that transformation is possible even during the development of an investment plan. The development of a common vision between the stakeholders, including the Peruvian government and indigenous peoples, on the use of FIP resources is a great success and shows that the FIP process is working. Trust is being built that will carry over into project implementation and beyond,” said Ben Green, FIP Sub-Committee member from the United Kingdom.
The FIP investment plan of Peru includes a number of activities that will help preserve the rich biodiversity of the country, including titling and registration of rural properties and communal lands with the aim of ending open access to forest resources, improvement of forest and environmental governance, enhancement of the value of environmental assets of forests and degraded areas, and activities for innovation and market development.
For more information, please contact:
Peru has secured $50 million in funding from the Forest Investment Program (FIP) to be invested in activities that will fight deforestation and forest degradation throughout the country. Peru's investment plan was approved in the FIP Sub Committee that took place in Washington, D.C. on October 30. The plan was presented by a high-level delegation from Peru, composed by members of key Ministries and representatives of indigenous people groups from the country.
Sustainable activities undertaken by indigenous, quilombola and other traditional Cerrado peoples will be funded by the World Bank and the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).
With African Development Bank support, Ghana has received $9.75 million approval from the FIP to undertake the Engaging Local Communities in REDD+/Enhancement of Carbon Stocks project to help reduce deforestation and forest degradation, increase carbon stocks, and reduce poverty by engaging communities in land management approaches that generate financial and environmental benefits for them.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 in Tunis approved a US $21.50-million FIP grant to finance climate change mitigation activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The project’s goal is to facilitate the reduction of GHG emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as help to reduce poverty in the Mbuji-Mayi (East Kasaï), Kananga (West Kasaï) and Kisangani (Orientale Province) basins.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has won approval of a $21.5 million grant from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to jump-start sustainable management of its critically important forest sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen forest governance.
By Maxwell Awumah originally published August 15, 2013 on Thomson Reuters Foundation. Photo: Maxwell Awumah /TRF
ACCRA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Hopes are high in Ghana that financial support from the multilateral Climate Investment Funds will enable local people to play a part in preventing the country’s forest reserves from shrinking further, while earning a decent living at the same time.
Ghana’s forest resources have declined in recent decades, largely due to human economic activities including agricultural expansion, harmful farming practices, timber harvesting, urban growth, and mineral and mining exploitation.
Forest cover shrank from 7.5 million hectares in 1990 to just under 5 million hectares in 2010, with an annual net loss of around 115,000 hectares, according to a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report from 2010.
Rural communities living close to forests have often been excluded from their management, which has led them to abandon their role as trustees of forest resources. And many efforts to regenerate forests have suffered from bad planning, as well as a lack of coordination and funding, experts say.
Charles Folovi, a 40-year-old farmer who lives on the fringes of the degraded Kalakpa game reserve near Ho, the capital of Volta Region, is optimistic that community members will welcome internationally-backed efforts to give them ownership of the forest reserve and enable them to contribute to its maintenance.
Currently, the government owns the reserve, which is managed by the Ghana Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. According to a report by the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), illegal chainsaw milling, logging and harvesting amounts to 3.7 million cubic metres of wood per year, almost double the official allowance of 2 million cubic metres.
The 320 sq km reserve is under threat from encroachment, charcoal burning, uncontrolled farming, hunting, cattle ranching and perennial bushfires – a situation repeated in other parts of the country.
Attempts to put a stop to these activities have been futile, as the government is unwilling to resettle the land invaders. Wildlife guards provide some protection but there are too many illicit goings on for them to tackle, with some happening under cover of darkness.
“Unsustainable exploitation of forests in the reserve area has led to deforestation and degradation, thus decreasing environmental services, (and increasing) emissions of greenhouse gases and disturbance for animals,” park manager George Asamoah told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Asamoah said well-planned interventions to improve forest management, make an inventory of resources and give local people ownership of land and trees would make his work easier because it would help reshape attitudes among those now carrying out illegal activities around the reserve.
BLUEPRINT FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT
Ghana is to receive $50 million under the CIF Forest Investment Programme (FIP) to help address the causes of deforestation and create new models for forest management and benefit-sharing, as well as engaging the private sector and pooling knowledge. The project is due to run until 2016.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and other partners, including the World Bank, plan to bring Ghana’s forest and land use programmes together, and identify investments that will prevent further deforestation.
Musah Abu-Juam, an officer with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, said preparatory funding of $250,000 has been received to produce a report that will serve as a base to launch full-scale implementation of the FIP project.
“We are hopeful things are really moving fast and we are poised to come out with a blueprint that will bring sustainable management of the forest and its resources,” he said.
Saeed Abdul Razak, an officer with the climate governance programme of Civic Response, a non-profit organisation, warned of a common dichotomy between interventions on paper - which often promise to help the poorest people - and practical implementation on the ground.
“But gauging from the enthusiasm build-up among major actors, we only hope for the best, and (that this will) eventually equip the local people with skills to own the resource and have a voice in sustainable forest management,” he said.
BENEFITS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
The FIP aims to give Ghanaians a bigger role in managing forests in a way that supports climate-resilient economic development, and ensure they receive a fair share of the benefits.
Mafalda Duarte, chief climate change specialist and CIF coordinator at the AfDB, said $2.5 billion out of global CIF funding of $7.6 billion is dedicated to Africa, part of which will be targeted at “reducing pressure on natural forests through an integrated landscape approach”.
A separate project now nearing completion shows how community members can be successfully brought into the management of forest resources, as the FIP project is also hoping to do.
An inter-agency initiative by FORIG and Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, with $500,000 support from the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), has made significant progress in replanting degraded forest in the Ankasa area of Ghana’s Western Region.
Over 200 sq km of degraded forest have been restored thanks to the project, which began in 2009 and ends this year. The forest had suffered severe damage to its trees and animal population due to illicit human activities including logging, farming and hunting. But the situation has now improved.
It is hoped that the reforestation of the state-designated game reserve - which spans over 500 sq km and is home to elephants, monkeys and antelopes, as well as 300 different plant species - will provide enough vegetation cover for game to thrive and attract more tourists.
Project leader Dominic D. Blay told Thomson Reuters Foundation the project is in its final phase of implementation, and has promoted the involvement of local people in key roles in governance and management systems, as well as determining the financial value of environmental services.
For more information, please contact:
Steven Shalita, CIF Communications
By Talli Nauman originally published July 24, 2013 on Thomson Reuters Foundation. Photo: Talli Nauman/TRF
AN ANTONIO TUK, Mexico (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Not far from the site of the Cancun 2010 U.N. climate change summit, indigenous people in rural southeast Mexico are doing their part to staunch global warming.
They are perfecting Community Forestry Enterprises (CFEs) to establish long-term profitability through tree farming and related agricultural practices that protect the environment.
“Climate change is a serious problem in the world, caused by bad habits,” says Miguel Cante Chuc, president of the Ya’ax Sot Ot’ Yook’Ol Kaab Environmental Service-Providers Network. “We as Mayan people want to be sure it is reversed.”
The 9-year-old network consists of 12 Mayan jungle villages in the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula, with the specific objective “to mitigate climate change and obtain financial resources.”
For all their good intentions, however, a big obstacle to success – one that they face together with hundreds of other communities like theirs across the country – is lack of access to loans for logging equipment and operations.
To ease that problem, Mexico’s government has created a Forest Investment Plan that will extend cut-rate credit lines from foreign lenders to support Community Forestry Enterprises.
The plan allows the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to administer a novel $6 million, 5-year technical assistance and micro-loan pilot project for local forest production projects.
Now in the design phase, Mexico’s trend-setting small-business loan assistance pilot aims to boost timber industry profits, foster community socio-economic stability, and ease problems associated with climate change.
Bank representatives hope the endeavor will be an example to the country and the world.
“It’s an innovative project offering the possibility to have something new and successful that’s never been done before,” says IDB Senior Climate Change Specialist Gloria Visconti.
It promises at least 60 CFEs will average a 6-percent increase in annual profits, garnering higher income for the 4,900 people involved in them, and providing indirect benefits to 10,680 community members. At the same time, it is expected to result in the capture of the equivalent of 28,610 tons of carbon.
WHY MATCH TREE FARMERS WITH BANKERS?
To understand why something like this was never done before and how it will work, it’s vital to consider Mexico’s peculiar land-tenure legacy.
After the hacienda system provoked peasant rebellion in the Mexican Revolution, the ensuing Constitution of 1917 provided safeguards against plantation exploitation by advancing one of the largest systems of communal land tenure in the world.
Land reform defined common property holdings for comunidades (traditional indigenous ancestral territories) and ejidos (parcels distributed to dispossessed peasants). In each of these units, community members elect officials and hold general assemblies to vote on land-use questions.
Today, communal landholders control the rights to a whopping 60 percent of Mexico’s forest lands, according to independent Mexican CFE specialist David Bray. Some 13 million people live off these lands, about half of whom belong to the country’s 62 indigenous groups, according to the IDB.
Extensive research by Bray and other scientists has established that the local governance of many of Mexico’s forests has made community forestry undertakings more successful than either corporate concessions or protected areas in conserving natural resources, providing employment, and ensuring environmental services that combat global warming.
The combination of legal rights, traditional knowledge, and economic self-interest in Mexico’s community forestry model has made it a beacon for other countries seeking to stem poverty, deforestation and greenhouse gas proliferation.
Timber production in comunidades and ejidos generally is a community-wide endeavor. Alternatively, smaller groups form inside these communities to extract and market timber.
They are now learning that their natural resources could afford significantly more economic dividends to their mostly low-income residents, while helping compensate for industrialised countries’ failure to adhere to mandatory international commitments to reduce carbon emissions.
“Through a program of carbon capture, we can provide economic sustenance to our families, live in the jungle, use it, and produce more environmental services,” Cante Chuc says.
Looking over his shoulder he can see one of the 159 members of the Mayan indigenous community of San Antonio Tuk climbing a gum tree with a machete in hand to score its bark for extraction of the resin that gives Mexican chewing gum the name chicle.
The work of the chicleros, who harvest and make gum, complements softwood lumbering and a protected area set-aside in San Antonio Tuk’s diversification and management plan for a robust woodlot and for greenhouse gas reductions. Tapping the gum tree and processing the product provides income to relieve economic pressure to fell precious and endangered tropical hardwoods like mahogany.
BREAKING WITH ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’
The principle climate changing greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is absorbed by healthy jungles and forests, partially offsetting emissions released by burning fossil-fuels elsewhere. Contrary to popular belief, managed cutting of forest for timber can actually increase the carbon-absorbing capacity of the trees, because lumber products store the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere (as long as they are not burned), and new growth replaces felled trees, Bray notes.
Yet the efforts of communal landholders have rarely been met with offers of credit, partly because the ejidos and comunidades by definition hold their properties in trusts that have not been considered equity or collateral.
What’s more, Visconti notes, “Asking for credit is a cultural issue.” CFE operators “need consultation so they can be involved and ready to receive credit,” she says.
The IDB project, called Support for Forest Related Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Ejidos and Communities, proposes to bring the lenders and the borrowers to the same table to resolve these issues.
Since neither the CFEs nor the banks have a history of loans for lumber business development, $4.2 million of the project disbursement will go just to technical assistance and $1.8 million will go to loans.
“It’s an innovative project,” Visconti says. “It’s not business as usual. If it was, it wouldn’t be part of the Climate Investment Funds,” she adds.
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) were established in 2008 to provide scaled-up climate financing to developing countries, with the aim of creating new climate resilient, low-carbon development models. CIF funds are channeled through five multilateral development banks, including the IDB.
Though the Forest Investment Program, one part of the CIF, the Inter-American Development Bank is supporting Mexico’s Forest Investment Plan, including the pilot forestry project in Mexico, and similar projects in Peru and Brazil.
The Forest Investment Program aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, promote sustainable management of forests and enhance forest carbon stocks.
Mexico’s project “is expected to develop models for future global replication,” the approved proposal for IDB administration states.
FIRST PRIVATE-SECTOR LOANS
It is the first time that the bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund will work with the private sector in a project of this type, it notes, “and the lessons learned from its implementation will be important contributions to the national policy for the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD++) program currently being developed.”
Findeca, a private lender that has experience financing shade-grown sustainable coffee plantations in southern Mexico, has signed on to the project. It will be in charge of delivering the Multilateral Investment Fund money to the landholders.
It will kick in loans only after the non-profit Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature(FMCN) has rounded up the technical assistance and consultants to build community acceptance and capacity to use and repay loans.
“We’re still in negotiations for the project,” said FMCN spokesman Juan Manuel Frausto. He expects a final contract with IDB in September, after which the first step will be to identify an initial batch of communities to take part.
The project will focus first on five of the eight states with the highest net forest loss -- Oaxaca, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Jalisco. These states have 1,768 forestry communities with a total population of more than 500,000, average poverty rates of 75 percent and a 40 percent indigenous makeup.
The limited experience with private sector investment in Community Forestry Enterprises in Mexico requires the “demonstration approach” being taken in this project. The money will not start to flow until 2014, Visconti says. Loans will be in the range of $800 to $3,000.
The CFEs could use the micro credits to buy equipment such as tractors or inputs such as seeds “to facilitate efficient production and to make them more sustainable,” Visconti says.
The small amounts are viable for all but the largest and most sophisticated CFEs, Bray says.
“There are many forestry communities in Mexico who need additional support to improve their logging or to move into logging,” Bray says. “Community forestry is a very mature sector with lots of successes, and there are a lot of opportunities in communities that are struggling with lack of support,” he adds.
For more information, please contact:
Steven Shalita, CIF Communications